Last week I spent the day making bread (and making new friends!) at the Bedruthan Hotel & Spa.
It may sound a bit odd – why would I be making bread at a hotel? But this is all part of Bedruthan Hotel’s new ‘Making Breaks’; tailored breaks that include a range of craft workshops that are offered on site, mostly by local businesses, although the bread making workshop I went on was run by their in-house chef, Adam.
These creative workshops include photography, jewellery making, macrame, calligraphy, screen printing, pottery, working with leather, and more! Bread making if of course on the list and this was what I was invited to go along to with a group of other press last week.
You can book onto the workshops independently, or create your own tailored ‘making break’ package which can include a delicious 2 course lunch in their Wild Cafe, use of their indoor spa facilities, a Sensory Spa Garden experience, and maybe a night or two staying in the hotel with breakfast or dinner – it’s up to you!
We arrived for 10:30am and were given an introduction to the course by chef Adam, as well as a few different recipe cards with all the information we needed to make things like soda bread, focaccia, white rolls, corn bread, brioche and more!
He showed us the basic techniques of kneading the dough, and talked us through how the yeast and proofing processed work too. We all made a basic white loaf and a brown soda bread together, and then we were able to choose whichever recipes we fancied making next, using the table stacked with all the ingredients and equipment we needed.
I decided to make a focaccia – which was surprisingly simple to make (that may or may not have been why I chose to make it…) – and then used the remainder of my white loaf dough to make cheesy breadsticks. Once we’d made all our dough in the morning, we let it proof while we ate lunch, and completed the process with baking it all in the afternoon.
Our lunch was super tasty! The Wild Cafe at Bedruthan has a deli counter, where you can pick your choice of sandwich, pie or quiche and combine it with your choice of delicious salads and desserts. This cafe is PERFECT for vegetarians and vegans, and I had the tastiest sweet potato and pecan quiche that I couldn’t stop raving about!
As I say, once we’d finished our lunch we headed back downstairs to the Garden Room (Bedruthan’s purpose built workshop room which has a kitchen set up perfectly for feast nights and baking workshops) to bake our loafs and do the finishing touches. Some people had chosen to make bagels, which requires boiling the dough in hot sugary water first – who knew!
A few others wanted to make crumpets too, which none of us had ever though of making from home, but they turned out totally delicious so it might well be worth a go.
With all the bread baked and fresh out of the oven, we stuffed some paper bags full with our goods. We came away with A LOT of bread, so if you go on this workshop, remember you won’t need to buy any bread for days. I’d recommend lunches of hot soup and bread for the next week or so – I’m still getting through mine!
After our workshop, we headed down to the spa to enjoy a late afternoon Sensory Spa Garden experience. I‘ve visited the spa garden at Bedruthan before and had a wonderful time, so knew to expect some relaxation time.
We made our way through the stations – starting with a dry scrub and shower, followed by the outdoor barrel sauna, then the ice bucket challenge (!), before heading into the wooden hot tubs for 20 minutes of chill time. Then it was time for the wet scrub (which smells of lemongrass and totally incredible!) and finishing off with an indulgent foot bath and hot herbal tea. Ahhhhh.
A few others were staying in the hotel to finish off their break before heading back up to London, while the rest of us head back home with bags full of bread and feeling totally relaxed.
The Making Breaks are a fantastic opportunity to get creative while still have the relaxing time you need when you get away. To find out more and book your own, head to the Bedruthan website.
*I was invited to this experience as a press trip, but all opinions are my own.